update deskAntisemitism

Israeli beaten in Belgium for removing anti-Israel sticker

Amnon Ohana, 64, suffered a fractured jaw during the assault, which occurred in front of his daughter.

“Gaza Free” and a swastika were spray-painted in hot pink on the home of Holocaust survivors in Belgium, April 2024. Source: X/European Jewish Congress.
“Gaza Free” and a swastika were spray-painted in hot pink on the home of Holocaust survivors in Belgium, April 2024. Source: X/European Jewish Congress.

An Israeli tourist was brutally beaten by several men at a train station in the Belgian city of Bruges on Friday after removing an anti-Israel sticker.

Amnon Ohana, 64, suffered a fractured jaw during the assault.

In a video of the incident filmed by his daughter, Shira, 29, two men can be seen shouting at the Israelis before one of them, a man in his 20s, descends a flight of stairs in pursuit of them as a train conductor and passersby look on.

“What started as violent discourse has turned in the past weeks to actual violence on the streets,” tweeted Israel’s ambassador to Belgium Idit Rosenzweig-Abu. “We expect the authorities to denounce this violence in the strongest terms possible. And we expect the police to find and press charges,” she continued.

The head of the European Jewish Association condemned the attack, warning that the assault was part of an escalation of antisemitic violence that if left unchecked could lead to loss of life.

“It is no longer just verbal violence or spitting but real physical attacks that can end in disaster,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin. “Don’t wait for us to be murdered to understand that you must act more decisively against the troublemakers. Today it is against Jews and tomorrow the incited mob will attack anyone who looks Western in their eyes.”

The attack comes amid a surge of antisemitism in Europe and around the world following Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre and amid the ensuing Israel-Hamas war.

Last month, a swastika and the words “Gaza Free” were spray-painted on the home of a Holocaust survivor in Belgium.

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